Workplace Learning

Workplace Learning

Today's job market is more competitive than ever before. That's why you should get serious about distinguishing yourself from other applicants. How? By gaining valuable work experience. Workplace learning is also a proven way for companies to ensure that employees have the skills they need now and for the future.

Central Piedmont offers uniquely designed workplace learning opportunities to match your goals and add to your resume. You'll get valuable, real-world experience directly related to your field of study - experience employers are likely to demand from job candidates in a tight job market. Watch this short video to hear how Central Piedmont students benefit from work-based learning. Ready to start? The Workplace Learning staff will connect you with apprenticeship, work-based learning (co-op), and internship opportunities that can help you get ahead.

Cooperative Education (Co-op) provides employers with well-trained students seeking work experience for college credit. Apprenticeships integrate onsite training with in-classroom education. Internships offer flexibility in length and design. Workplace Learning provides opportunities for employers to get skilled professionals through Apprenticeship Charlotte, cooperative education, and internships. This model for planned and projected employment needs benefits all stakeholders and supports growth and economic development through the success of our students and our business and industry partners.

Workplace Learning Benefits


  • highly skilled incumbent workers trained to industry and employer-recognized standards
  • Central Piedmont administrative and faculty support for employer-focused talent development
  • increased productivity
  • retention of talented workforce
  • recruit diverse workforce
  • college credit and degree outcomes
  • positive reputation for industry careers


  • experience and skills that are in demand
  • higher pay
  • college credit and degree outcomes leading to career pathways
  • global, portable credentials
  • economic mobility with an increased standard of living

Charlotte Area and North Carolina:

  • highly skilled workforce
  • more degree credit outcomes
  • sustainable economic growth
  • global competitiveness
  • increased standard of living and quality of life

Apprenticeship Charlotte

Apprenticeship Charlotte is one way Central Piedmont connects talented students to employers. By combining classroom and workplace learning, both the employer and student share a valuable experience for immediate results. Apprenticeship Charlotte gives companies a talent pipeline strategy of growing your own. Our staff and faculty create the right blend of class and on-the-job training for your company's needs.

  • Apprenticeship Information for Students

    Learn more about whether Apprenticeship Charlotte is the right fit for you! We partner with companies in the Charlotte area to create and support apprenticeship programs to help develop the skilled workforce needed today and in the future. We’ll learn about your interests and strengths, then connect you to a company when it has a need for someone with your talents and potential. If you're serious about jump-starting your career, becoming an apprentice through Central Piedmont can reward you in many ways. Other than the obvious value of work experience, you may work your way into a permanent position. You'll also be earning wages, and in some cases get tuition and fees covered. 

    Take these first steps:

    1. email with "Apprenticeship CLT" in the subject line

      1. attach a current résumé and state your program of study, GPA, and career interests; Career Services can help you with your résumé
      2. indicate in your email to us how much course work you have completed to date
    2. schedule a meeting with a Workplace Learning coordinator

    Once you have met with a Workplace Learning coordinator, you will be added to our candidate pool. We will contact you when relevant apprenticeships become available. Please check your Central Piedmont email account regularly.

  • Apprenticeship Information for Employers

    Apprenticeships date far back as an effective system of transferring knowledge and skills between generations. Today, North Carolina's apprenticeship program is under the NC Community College System and coordinated by the Department of Labor. Apprenticeships are an effective recruiting and training strategy for your company, even for jobs beyond the traditional trade skills. Central Piedmont's Apprenticeship Charlotte offers a customized program to fit your company's business needs. 

    Let Central Piedmont help your company set-up an apprenticeship program.  Central Piedmont will typically help employers work with the state, particularly in the initial set-up and creation of agreements. Employers with a signed state agreement are ready to begin a registered apprenticeship. With this as a part of your training strategy, you can rely on the college to deliver:

    • administrative support for the candidate intake process
    • coordination of state recognition activities and agreement process
    • detailed information on the required and elective course work, available with certificate, diploma or degree requirements
    • convenient sponsorship option to Central Piedmont (payment process)

    Apprenticeship Benefits for Employers

    • establish job training standards and expectations
    • develop loyal, skilled employees who value company culture
    • nurture your own pipeline of talent for hard-to-fill positions
    • validate your work force as state registered journeymen

    Getting Started

    1. experienced Workplace Learning staff visits your site to understand your specific job requirements
    2. Central Piedmont recommends learning programs that match your job skill needs
    3. a state liaison aligns the occupational title with the educational component and OJT hours
    4. we work jointly to recruit top candidates based on your selection and hiring process

    What To Expect From Apprenticeship Charlotte as an Employer

    The following scenario is a typical sequence when establishing an apprenticeship program:

    • Meeting One: We learn about your unique objectives and operations. We also introduce our team and share details about the apprenticeship program, the potential advantages to employers, offer case studies and student examples. Often, this happens onsite at your company and includes a tour for Central Piedmont faculty and/or a workplace counselor.
    • Meeting Two: We invite you to our campus and lab facilities where you may interact with students and faculty. In this meeting, we discuss how our learning objectives and student skills can be applied in your workplace.
    • Meeting Three: If we've determined a good fit, the third meeting will be to plan the details of the implementation. We'll go over guidelines and expectations, so that we can best evaluate the experience.

    Email us at or to learn more about Apprenticeship Charlotte and custom training needs.

  • Apprenticeship Open House

    Join us to learn about the benefits of apprenticeship and tour our advanced manufacturing partners.

Work-Based Learning

Work-based learning is an academic class commonly called co-op. Instead of attending class in a traditional classroom, students work with an employer in a position directly related to their field of study. Work-based learning is similar to an internship, but students receive academic credit either as an elective or as a required class. Work-based learning/co-op is available in nearly 50 programs of study at Central Piedmont. Work-based Learning is a semester-long class that you register for in order to gain college credit and practical work experience in your program of study. You will learn valuable skills at an employer’s work site and experience putting classroom study and theory into practice. Contact a coordinator at one of our six campuses for more information.

  • Work-Based Learning Information for Students

    To find out if work-based learning is in your program of study, do one of the following:

    • review our list of approved programs (PDF) that have work-based learning
    • contact your campus coordinator
    • contact the assigned faculty coordinator for work-based learning in your program of study
    • review your program evaluation via the Central Piedmont main webpage/My College to see if work-based learning is listed in your program; look for the prefix “WBL” ("COE") listed as either as a required course or elective

    Each program of study has different prerequisites or eligibility requirements required to take the class. Check with either the faculty coordinator or campus coordinator for details. All students are required to complete the student work-based learning application (PDF) and have a faculty coordinator give their signed approval. The approved application is then given to the campus coordinator. The paperwork should be submitted to the campus coordinator as soon as possible prior to the semester that you want to complete the work-based learning experience. As a general guideline, you should complete the work-based learning application by:

    • July 1st for the fall semester
    • October 15th for the spring semester
    • April 1st for the summer semester

    To find a work-based learning opportunity that is right for you, the best place to start is to discuss your interest with either the program faculty coordinator or campus coordinator. Each semester, Central Piedmont partners with numerous employers who provide work-based learning opportunities for our students. You can also find your own work site, but you will need to make sure that it is approved by faculty. You will need to interview for positions. Many employers ask to see a resume or portfolio or your work. Ask a faculty or workplace learning coordinator for details. If you need resume assistance or interview practice, please contact Career Services.

    Over a semester, you will work a set weekly schedule to complete a minimum of either 160 hours for a one-credit class or 320 hours for a two credit class. You will coordinate a schedule with your on-the-job supervisor, keeping in mind your class schedule for that semester. Some work sites may offer you the opportunity to work more than the minimum number of hours. We encourage employers to pay students, but not all work-based learning experiences are paid. In some programs of study, the work experience must be unpaid due to licensure restrictions. Check with either the faculty or workplace learning coordinator for more details.

  • Work-Based Learning Information for Employers

    Work-based learning/co-op is an academic class where a student applies classroom learning in the workplace. Students are placed in jobs directly related to their field of study and work a specified number of hours over the semester in order to receive college credit. As the employer, you get a unique opportunity to evaluate the student's performance and contribution before making a longer-term commitment. Work-based learning starts at the beginning of every semester at Central Piedmont (August, January, and May) and is offered in over 40 programs. Please call our office 4-8 weeks prior to start the recruiting process. 

    Let our students' success contribute directly to your company's success.

    Work-Based Learning Benefits for Employers

    Participation in work-based learning allows you to introduce students to your company work ethic, requirements, and operation. You gain a competitive edge by having a strong role in the education of future full-time or part-time employees. It also gives you the chance to evaluate prospective employees before making a long-term commitment. Our partner companies also benefit by the opportunity to engage with students. By learning from each other, the college can better prepare your future workforce. Such ongoing and active partnerships help the college produce well-qualified graduates with relevant skills needed in the local workforce.

    How to Get Started with Work-Based Learning as an Employer

    Getting started is easy!

    After partnering with Central Piedmont's work-based learning program, you will not be assigned a student. After you've done all the paperwork and once the position is approved by the Workplace Learning office, we market the opportunity to students and faculty in the relevant program of study. In order to participate, students must meet minimum GPA requirements, and have completed a specified portion of the curriculum prior to the work experience. Students also have to be recommended by both the Faculty Coordinator and the Workplace Learning office. Interested students then authorize us to send the employer their résumé. You will interview and select the student who you consider to be the best match according to the needs of your company. Once you select your student, we ask that employers provide students with a supportive work environment to put theory into practice. Supervisors help students develop three measurable learning objectives to learn over the course of the semester. In addition, providing regular feedback and completing the employer evaluation at the end of the semester helps students identify their strengths and weaknesses.

    Work-Based Learning Responsibilities for Employers

    You may list the position as paid or unpaid, but we do encourage employers to consider listing a position as paid. Paid positions typically elicit a greater response from students. Certain programs of study that prepare students for licensure require work experiences to be unpaid. Employers should review the Department of Labor's fact sheet regarding unpaid internships in the for-profit sector (PDF). The Workplace Learning department cannot determine if a business is in compliance with the Department of Labor guidelines. employers are not required to provide work-based learning students with health insurance or other employee benefits. An employer is expected to comply with state laws regarding Worker's Compensation Liability Insurance, and to verify if their policy covers students/interns. Please review the additional policies for employers.

    Occasionally an employer/student partnership does not work out. The Workplace Learning office makes every effort to resolve the situation. We encourage employers to contact both the Workplace Learning office and the Faculty Coordinator immediately if issues occur during the semester.

    Work-Based Learning Policies for Employers
    Policy on Harassment and Discrimination

    Central Piedmont Community College is committed to the practice of equal opportunity and non-discrimination in personnel policies and intends that employees of the College and citizens of its service area shall be made aware of this commitment. All matters related to selection, compensation, benefits, promotion, social and recreational programs, and all treatment on the job will be free of discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability, age, genetic information, or any other legally protected classification.

    Discriminatory harassment is any behavior by an individual which improperly singles out, stigmatizes, or victimizes an employee or student to the employee’s or student’s detriment because of race, sex, religion, national origin, age, or handicap. Discriminatory harassment includes, but is not limited to, sexual and verbal harassment.

    It is each employee’s or student’s responsibility to ensure that his or her conduct does not include or imply discriminatory harassment in any form. A participating Co-op or Intern of the College can report harassment or suspected harassment to the appropriate Faculty Coordinator, Workplace Learning Coordinator, Workplace Learning Director, or the College’s Director of Equal Opportunity. Participants may also want to familiarize themselves with the procedures for reporting and investigating harassment or suspected harassment within their company or agency of employment.

    Accident Insurance

    Specific classes require student accident insurance and the fee will be included in the student’s tuition. Coverage starts at the beginning of the term and stops at the end of the term.

    Professional Liability Insurance

    Participants enrolled in the Human Services programs of study must purchase Professional Liability insurance through Central Piedmont. Coverage starts at the beginning of the term and stops at the end of the term.

    Worker’s Compensation

    Employers are expected to provide Worker's Compensation Liability Insurance coverage, as applicable, according to state law.

    Unpaid Co-ops or Internships 

    Co-ops or Internships may be listed as paid or unpaid. When for-profit businesses host unpaid Co-ops or Interns, they should follow the six-point criteria outlined by the U.S. Department of Labor. Click here for more information. The Central Piedmont Workplace Learning department cannot determine if a business is in compliance with the criteria.

    Unemployment Insurance

    Federal and state law prohibits a student from collecting unemployment insurance after a paid Co-op ends.

    Home-Based Businesses

    Home-based business owners should contact a Workplace Learning Coordinator to see if their business is eligible to host a Co-op or Intern participant.

  • Work-Based Learning Information for Faculty

    Faculty Coordinators work directly with students who are interested or enrolled in a work-based learning (WBL) class. Both full-time and part-time instructors can serve as Faculty Coordinators, if they have met required credentialing to teach in the specific field of study.

    Faculty Coordinator responsibilities include:

    • determining if a student meets the program’s eligibility requirements
    • approving the student’s Workplace Learning Application
    • recommending employer worksites based on students' knowledge, skills, and abilities
    • approving Measurable Learning Objectives (MLOs)
    • conducting at least one employer visit before the semester ends
    • reviewing the workbook and assigning a grade
    • submitting paperwork in a timely manner and adhering to NCCCS regulations
    • promoting the benefits of work-based learning/co-op to both students and employers

    Work-Based Learning Forms for Faculty

    Contact the campus campus coordinator for further clarification on Workplace Learning policies and procedures.


Internships are flexible work experiences that allow students and recent graduates to gain exposure to their field. Unlike work-based learning/co-op, internships are not for academic credit, but the completion of competency-based instruction to provide skills, abilities, and knowledge. Participants work at an employer’s site for an extended period of time, working on projects related to their program of study. Internships enable students to further build related work experience and enhance portfolios. Upon successful completion of an internship, participants will receive a certificate acknowledging their achievement.

  • Internship Information for Students

    Student Eligibility for Internships

    Non-credit bearing internships are available to both current students and recent graduates enrolled in participating Corporate and Continuing Education and curriculum programs. Eligibility varies by program, so contact your Workplace Learning coordinator for details. Students enrolled in curriculum programs that have Co-op as a required course or technical elective should check with the Workplace Learning office about eligibility for Co-op prior to participating in an internship.

    Internship Advantages for Students

    • gain practical experience in your field or explore a career path
    • work with professionals who have first-hand knowledge of your work product and skills
    • develop a portfolio of work to increase your chances of finding a job
    • there is no cost to you to participate in an internship
    • a Workplace Learning coordinator and an on-site supervisor will mentor and support you during your internship

    Additional Internship Information for Students

    • internships are not eligible for college credit, but participants do receive a Certificate of Completion from Central Piedmont once the internship ends
    • there are no hourly requirements for an internship, but you will coordinate a set schedule with the participating employer
    • your work schedule's start and end dates are flexible depending on the employer's needs and your schedule
  • Internship Information for Employers

    Internships can be an effective recruiting and training strategy for your company. The Workplace Learning staff can help determine how an internship program can fit your specific needs.